Single mother defrauded dentists

TOM GODFREY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:41 AM ET

TORONTO -- A Richmond Hill single mother of two wept in court yesterday as she was sent to a federal penitentiary for two years for ripping off a string of dentists across the GTA.

Irina Chernyakhovsky, 38, was also placed on probation for three years and ordered to stay away from dental offices after pleading guilty to six counts of fraud over $5,000, five of failing to comply with bail conditions and one of uttering forged documents.

Justice John Moore ordered Chernyakhovsky, who has served six months in pretrial custody, to stay away from jobs in which she has to handle money.

"This was a well-planned and sophisticated piece of work by the defendant," Moore told a sobbing Chernyakhovsky at College Park court. "It is highly likely she will go back to conducting further frauds when released."

Chernyakhovsky defrauded about $200,000 from six dentists while working for them for brief periods from 2005 to 2008, he said.

"She chose to pick on dentists rather than other professions," Moore said on sentencing. "She went from dentist to dentist creating false invoices to bill insurance companies."

Dr. David Freedman said he was ripped off for about $90,000 by Chernyakhovsky, who worked for him for four months in 2005.

"This woman had a level of sophistication and she knew the system well," Freedman said in a victim impact statement. Chernyakhovsky created, and then deleted, hundreds of fictitious patients whom she billed for treatment from insurance companies, he said.

"She would wait for the mailman and then intercept the mail," Freedman said.

Dr. Hal Kershen said about $14,000 was stolen in 2007 from two offices he shared with his daughters.

Chernyakhovsky's son, Josh, 17, said his mom is a great person who did something wrong.

Her lawyer, Carol Cameron, said Chernyakhovsky's problem began when her husband took off in 2004 and left her with little money.

TOM.GODFREY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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